IT’S the seafront gateway to the city – and from December it will be lit up in style.
Portsmouth City Council hopes to install new LED lights at the Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth.
And the bulbs will be able to change colour to match the Spinnaker Tower.
The £20,000 project, for the section between the Round Tower and Spice Island, will form part of a shoreline welcome to visitors coming in by sea.
The council’s leader for culture and leisure Cllr Lee Hunt said: ‘The project will see lights installed which have a number of advantages.
‘They will be easier to maintain but more importantly, they will allow us to have more control, giving a new first image to those who enter the city at night.’
The new lights will be colour-controlled, allowing them to link with Spinnaker Tower, which is lit with different shades.
Cllr Hunt said: ‘It means we can have a continuous lighting-theme along the seafront, which will be seen by people on ships coming in, as well as by visitors and residents walking on the seafront at night.
‘The lights will be strong, so it’s safer to walk at night, and they’ll be themed to make the seafront even more attractive.’
The existing one-colour lights are not working, because of water and salt damage.
Although it would cost less to make a like-for-like replacement, ongoing costs are likely to be higher in the next five years than installing the more resilient LED lights.
It’s hoped the new illuminations will reduce electricity bills, as they use less energy than standard bulbs.
Cllr Hunt said: ‘It makes sense financially, as well as to improve the seafront. At the moment, there is no proper lighting at the entrance to the harbour and that’s not really acceptable for us as a city.’
The lights will be followed by similar installations from Southsea Castle to the Hot Walls, which will be able to be combined to produce effects such as ‘waves’ of light running along the seafront.
Cllr Hunt said: ‘It’s a plan we’re pleased with. The installation will make the city more welcoming and more fun to be in, at night as well as in the day.’